Teen suicide is a tragic topic that's all too real in the Quad Cities.
"To say that it's not happening here is putting blinders on and not looking at what's around you," said Mike Mickle, founder of Healthy Happy Families Foundation, on Tuesday, July 18.
That's why the foundation is taking on tough issues to help area kids. It's reaching out with video projects and focusing on prevention.
"When we took on these topics, we realized that they were not going to be fun," Mickle continued. "They're not fun at all, but they're necessary."
Necker's is donating a portion of July sales to benefit the foundation's work.
To learn more, check http://hhffqc.org
A veteran journalist, Mickle knows these are difficult subjects. Still, they are subjects that hit close to home in the Quad Cities.
"The cases are chilling," he said. "All of the subjects that we are tackling have been suggested by either law enforcement, educators or counselors."
The foundation is expanding its outreach to area schools during the upcoming year. It will use documentaries as a teaching tool to contend with timely topics like suicide awareness, heroin addiction, poverty and more.
"We're getting responses from all across the country," Mickle said.
The school presentations will blend their videos with live discussion and feedback for teens.
"They're seeing this stuff happen around them," Mickle said. "We might as well reach them the best way possible through social media. Go into the schools and try to help empower them."
Getting teens to open up about these subjects isn't easy, but their films are breaking down barriers and changing attitudes.
"What we're trying to do is become proactive rather than reactive," Mickle concluded. "By educating, we're hoping that we can at least lessen the number of kids that fall victim to these things."
In this Gift of Giving, creating awareness that aims for action to help local teenagers.